“An aging-friendly community offers ample opportunities for older adults to develop new sources of fulfillment, productive engagement, and social interaction.”
—Andrew E. Scharlach, associate dean and professor School of Social Welfare at the University of California, Berkeley
Alliteration is sometimes helpful to capture important information in an easy-to-remember way. The “3 Cs” of a life in balance are one way to conceptualize the important elements of aging well and simplifying our lives so that we can focus on a life that continues to provide meaningful opportunities for engagement.
Continuity of longtime routines, rituals, and choices helps people navigate many life transitions—including retirement and moving to a new home. Although the neighborhood, real estate, neighbors, and services may be different, the ability to continue important daily, weekly, and annual routines supports us through unfamiliar circumstances.
Compensation is the second C word. When making changes, it’s important to be sure the features of the home, neighborhood, and services are amenable to the changing needs of older adults. Lighting, sidewalks, door widths, accessibility, transportation support, and a long list of other daily needs can make the difference in a successful and supported transition.
Compatibility is important in all areas of our lives. The vocational, social, spiritual, physical, and emotional aspects of well-being require alignment. Are the values of the community in agreement with those personal values and beliefs that are primary to a person’s life experience? Irreconcilable differences are not easily resolved.
Positive aging is made up of far more components than the “3 Cs” shared in this brief article. But assessing these three key factors when simplifying and retooling for the last decades of life helps support a successful change. This assessment—combined with a conscious decision to make proactive choices regarding home, health, and services while the decision is still available (and not made for the person by expected or unexpected changing needs)—is the basic principle of successful life transition.
At Touchmark, we strive to create communities that provide the “3 Cs” to residents, families, and staff. For more information on how to experience the Touchmark lifestyle, contact a community's executive director or any team member.